U.S. Versus Robinson, U.S. Versus Black, U.S. Versus Rodriguez, And Judge Neil Gorsuch: Do Not Touch The GunsBY Herschel Smith
2 months, 3 weeks ago
Neil Gorsuch, who is apparently in consideration for the Supreme Court of the U.S., concurred in a ruling that was just as bad as Robinson and very similar.
The facts of the case are these. A New Mexico policeman observed Mr. Rodriguez, a convenience store clerk, carrying a concealed handgun. Carrying a concealed loaded handgun is illegal in New Mexico without a permit but legal if one has a license to do so. The officer, upon seeing a Rodriguez’s handgun, detained him, then – acting first and asking questions later – forcibly disarmed Rodriguez. After finding out that Rodriguez did not, in fact, have a license to carry and, indeed, was a convicted felon, the officer placed him under arrest.
Of course, hard cases make bad law. But the precedent from the Rodriguez opinion will affect police-citizen relations in New Mexico, and possibly elsewhere in the Tenth Circuit, for many years to come. Not bothering to figure out the legality of Rodriguez’s firearm before detaining and disarming him, the officer’s initial actions would have been the same even if Mr. Rodriguez had been a lawful gun owner.
According to the 10th Circuit’s opinion, the police are justified in forcibly disarming every armed citizen based on nothing more than the presence of a concealed firearm. This allows the police to treat every law-abiding gun owner like a criminal – which, in many cases we have seen, includes rough treatment such as grabbing him, twisting his arm behind his back, slamming him down on the ground, and handcuffing him. Far too many police officers do not like anyone to be armed other than themselves and have taken it upon themselves to intimidate those who dare to exercise Second Amendment rights. Under the Rodriguez decision, only after being forcibly disarmed and detained would a citizen be entitled to demonstrate that he was lawfully exercising his Second Amendment rights.
This is a hideously bad decision, and enables LEOs to forcibly violate constitutional protections against illegal search and seizure whenever they feel like it for their own “protection.” How innocent citizens get their protection from negligent discharges, beatings by LEOs, and violations of their right to privacy is left unaddressed by the tenth circuit because the tenth circuit doesn’t care.
Any man who believes that LEOs have the right to disarm innocent civilians because they feel like it isn’t fit to be on any bench, much less the Supreme Court of the United States. Neil Gorsuch should resign his post along with his colleagues on the tenth circuit and be replaced by good men who believe in the constitution.
Now let me address something I’ve mentioned before. If you are a LEO reading this column, if you stop anyone whom you have no evidence is guilty of a crime and you touch their gun, or ask them to touch it thinking that you are actually decreasing risk, you are an idiot. You are an idiot and your procedures are written by idiots.
This is about configuration management. The safest possible configuration for the both of you is to leave your gun alone, and leave his gun alone. Do … not … touch … them. Do not risk negligent discharges, do not mistake intentions, do not engender suspicions. Do not touch the guns.
Do not touch the guns. Do not play with guns, yours or his. Do not touch the guns. Do not engage in high risk behavior. Do not touch the guns. Leave them the hell alone. Do not touch the guns. Keep your finger off the trigger of the guns, do not depress the grip safety, do not put your damn hand on any gun, his or yours. Do not touch the guns. Do not touch the guns.
Damn, people. Just damn.